The highest-end Microsoft Surface Book is so, so expensive

The Surface Book
The Surface Book

Want a Surface Book with the best specifications available? You'd better take on a second job. Microsoft just announced pricing for a 1TB Surface Book with an Intel Core i7 processor.

The price is a whopping $3,200 (about £2,070, about AU$4,400), which is more than double the cost of the entry-level Core i5, 128GB Surface Book ($1,499, about £978, about AU$2,081). For the extra cash you're getting the most powerful Core i7 processor, the i7-6600U, which runs at a 2.6GHz.

Additionally, the top-shelf Surface Book comes with 16GB of RAM and an as-of-yet unspecified Nvidia graphics processor.

Sound familiar?

This pricing is exactly the same as a fully-specced 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Retina. With that model, you're getting a similar clock speed, the same amount of storage and RAM as you would with the highest-end Surface Book, but an inch and a half more screen real estate.

The similarly-sized 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina will run you $2,699 (about £1,700, AU$4,100), which is exactly what the cost of the previously-stated highest-end Surface Book was priced at last week. That model, which has a 13.5 inch display, an Intel Core i7 processor (with a discrete Nvidia GPU), 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD was available for pre-order until Microsoft ran out of units.

It's since been replaced as the king of the hill by the 1TB model.

Why the fuss?

Microsoft's first foray into laptop-making is a triumph. The Surface Book, which is a detachable 2-in-1 device (unlike the notebook-only MacBook), features a stunning 3,000 x 2,000-pixel display, an avant garde and rad-looking Dynamic Fulcrum hinge and more than 12 hours of battery life, according to Microsoft.

This is a high end laptop that competes with the best in the business, except thanks to its Muscle Wire design, it can turn into a tablet as well.